Israel’s Embassy in China is protesting what it describes as “blatant antisemitism” on a program ran by the overseas channel of state broadcaster CCTV discussing the ongoing violence in Gaza and elsewhere.
In a tweet, the embassy said “we have hoped that the times of the ‘Jew’s controlling the world’ conspiracy theories were over, unfortunately antisemitism has shown its ugly face again.”
“We are appalled to see blatant antisemitism expressed in an official Chinese media outlet," the tweet said.
How Israel can win and Hamas can’t lose: LISTEN to Amos Harel and Muhammed Shehada
Israeli embassy spokesperson Erez Katz Volovelsky said the embassy had nothing to add to its tweet and had so far received no reply from CGTN, which CCTV operates for foreign audiences, similar to Russia’s RT.
On the Tuesday CGTN broadcast, host Zheng Junfeng questioned whether U.S. support for Israel was truly based on shared democratic values, saying “some people believe that U.S. pro-Israeli policy is traceable to the influence of wealthy Jews in the U.S. and the Jewish lobby on U.S. foreign policy makers.”
“Jews dominate finance and internet sectors,” Zheng says, speaking in English. “So do they have the powerful lobbies some say? Possible."
Zheng then accused the U.S. — China's top geopolitical rival — of using Israel as a “beachhead" in the Middle East and a as proxy in its campaign to defeat pan-Arabism.
- What do Chinese media outlets say about the Middle East? Depends which language you’re reading
- Biden urges fewer rocket attacks as U.S. objects to UN meeting on Israeli-Palestianian escalation
- No less important than recognizing genocides: fighting current ones
There was no immediate comment from CCTV.
China has long been a strong backer of the Palestinian cause and in recent days, the Foreign Ministry has castigated the U.S. for blocking a statement in the United Nations Security Council condemning the violence.
Yet, since establishing formal diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, Beijing has nurtured close economic, technological and military ties, including the purchase of early model Israeli drones.
Judaism is not one of China's officially recognized religions, however, and stereotypes about Jews as shrewd businesspeople and market manipulators are common among the Chinese public.